in celebration

What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open. – Muriel Rukeyser

In honor of Women’s History Month, the internet has been full of empowering accolades, reminding us women aren’t bossy, that we’re all beautiful, we’re all powerful, and that we can do and be anything that we want to be. And yesterday marked the 102nd birthday of the first 18 girls registered in Girl Scouts. I proudly went to work wearing my Girl Scouts membership pin with my 25 year member designation. Because, you see, I am a card carrying lifetime member.

IMG_20140312_114207_333But no one asked me why I was wearing my pin. I doubt it’s because everyone knew it was the Girl Scouts birthday, but no bother. I felt proud wearing it.

As the craziness of the week comes to a close, I realized that I never stopped to really celebrate and honor what it is to be a woman, aside from that one moment where I chose to wear my Girl Scouts pin to work. And in my day to day life, I rarely, if ever, stop to think how hard I have worked for everything I have, and how much I have grown. How I have stuck to my convictions and started speaking up for myself in ways that I never would have dared to before because I’m a woman, and have largely worked for men who don’t appreciate those under them, especially not women.

I never stop to think how crazy and challenging and amazing it is to simply be a woman in this day and age. And especially to be a woman who is so blessed to have the rights and privileges that I do, and live among the technological advances that we do, and have a voice that is heard, even though it doesn’t always feel that way.

Recently, I find that I don’t keep in touch with my friends other than those I see at work because just keeping the house running and making ends meet has been such a chore, and a struggle.  When the laundry isn’t done or a bill isn’t paid on time, I take it as a personal failure and embarrassment, and retract even further into my own world. And that’s okay to do for a short amount of time, but not for forever.  I’m working on it, friends.  I will return the phone calls and letters. Please be patient with me.

Tonight, as I settle in to work on some freelance stuff, my mind keeps going to my mother, who I am so very blessed to have and so excited to go see this weekend for the first time since Christmas.

And then I keep thinking of one of the dearest, most beautiful women that I have in my life and have the privilege of calling a friend, who is truly one of the strongest and most amazing and giving people I have ever met. She has counseled me and cried with me and comforted me, fed me and answered my crazy cooking questions, supported me and understood me and laughed and cried and drank wine with me. Today, she found out she is being promoted, which is long overdue, and well earned. When I found out the news I literally jumped up and down in my office and teared up, feeling so excited for her that she was finally recognized. So, my dear Michele, congratulations on being the kickass woman you are, and finally getting something that is so very deserved.

Women don’t get thanked nearly enough for what they do. We all have our private trials and tribulations, pains, and life experiences that are difficult and beautiful. And when we rise above all of that and are seen to be the intelligent, beautiful, thoughtful, giving people that we are, it is rare and it is joyous. And when one of my women friends gets recognized, it is the best feeling in the world. I am proud to be a woman, and lucky to have the women I have in my life. A month isn’t long enough to celebrate. I think I need to start celebrating everyday.

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